European Team Championships 2011



An excellent effort and experience for the Welsh team at the ETCC and they finished 37th, one place below their seeding.

Read the reports from their Captain Stuart Hutchings.



ETC final report by Stuart Hutchings, captain




 37. Wales (RtgAvg:2227, Captain: Stuart Hutchings / TB1: 2 / TB2: 5.5)
Bo. Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pts. Games RtgAvg Rp
1 FM Williams A Howard 2353 WLS 0 0 0 1 0 1 ½ 2.5 7 2445 2343
2 CM Jones Iolo C 2282 WLS 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0.5 7 2269 2047
3 Kett Tim 2184 WLS ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 2.0 8 2357 2164
4 Pleasants Allan J 2089 WLS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 7 2442 1642
5 Young Alan 2042 WLS 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0.5 7 2376 1954




So it might make grim reading, but I can’t stress enough what a daunting task this was always going to be for the team.




Wales were seeded 36th out of 38, the only teams seeded below us being Luxembourg and Cyprus. In August Luxembourg had won the European Small Nations championship, but only Cyprus of the other 9 teams took part in the ETC. Also the likes of Portugal, Ireland and Albania did not compete in the ETC, other countries against which we may have had a chance.


Wales average rating was 2227, Scotland’s, seeded at 35, was 2302, whilst that of the 34th seeds, Turkey, was 2412, and so on, already a big leap in playing strength.



Nevertheless, the team competed well, and on better days could have had a number of extra half points from better positions which resulted in draws, or even positions which resulted in losses. We also had one game which went from a win to a loss in a couple of moves, whilst Iolo not realising he was about to lose on time at move 25, something he has not done before, nor I doubt will ever do again, resulted in a drawn match against Cyprus rather than the deserved win.



Special mention must be made of Howard’s performance which, after a long layoff from such competitions, I thought was truly remarkable. He started with losses against 3 GMs, the lowest rated being 2581 (!), but then scored 2.5/4 during which he unluckily lost to Graham Morrison of Scotland after holding a slight edge for most of the game but then falling to a tactic whilst still trying to win.



Morrison went on to achieve an IM norm with 3.5/8, mostly on board 2, as also did Scotland’s board 1 Alan Tate, who had the same score as Howard of 2.5/7 but a higher rating average of opponent. Also of note was the 3.5/7 scored by Luxembourg’s Hubert Mossong, rated 2119, including 2 wins against 2400+ IMs, all of which shows that individual Welsh players could achieve such feats in future events, even if the team is heavily outgunned on paper.




The tournament reached a tremendous finale and resulted in a huge surprise, with 10th seed Germany winning after Jan Gustaffson held out for a draw the exchange down in the penultimate game to finish, allowing Germany to defeat Armenia. A win in the match by Armenia would have given them the title, as it was they finished out of the medals behind 2nd placed Azerbaijan, and Hungary (with whom Armenia tied on match points but lost out on game points) who came from nowhere to snatch 3rd place after defeating Bulgaria 4 – 0 in the final round, with the last game to finish.




Amongst those faring badly were top seeds Russia, failing to take a medal yet again in finishing 5th, 2nd seeds, and reigning Olympic champions, Ukraine finishing 15th, and 8th seeds England finishing 23rd, despite Mickey Adams winning the board 1 individual gold medal.




All in all a very enjoyable and exciting tournament, and even though it was really tough going for the Welsh players, I can’t fault them for their efforts, and thank them for their excellent team spirit throughout.  








Round 9 - All Results Final Round          Official Website  


Right to left in Round 9, Iolo Jones, Tim Kett,

 Allan Pleasants and Alan Young.


ETC Round 9 report by Stuart Hutchings, captain


Bo. 30
FYROM  tn mkd
Rtg - 36
Wales  tn wls
19.1 GM Nedev Trajko 2493 1-0 CM Jones Iolo C 2282
19.2 IM Colovic Aleksandar 2451 1-0 Kett Tim 2184
19.3 IM Pancevski Filip 2442 1-0 Pleasants Allan J 2089
19.4 GM Stanojoski Zvonko 2470 1-0 Young Alan 2042


Today’s match was against 30th seeded FYROM, who had been held to a 2 – 2 draw by Luxembourg in round 8, with whom we had also drawn, so all things should have been possible today. There was nothing at stake for us (other than individual pride) so Howard was rested allowing for a fair distribution of games (Tim played 8, the others 7). Comments on the games in the order in which they finished are:


1.  I always feel quite reassured when I see Iolo playing his favourite Petroff, but today was not one of its better outings. W rapidly created kingside chances so Iolo sacrificed a bishop to try and relieve the pressure, but only got a pawn and some checks before W consolidated.

2.  Tim played a speculative, though common, Nf5 sacrifice against his opponent’s Sicilian, but never seemed to quite have enough against accurate defence, but certainly created some tricky moments.

3.  Alan’s opponent played a provocative opening successfully, leaving with Alan with an isolated d pawn and B having strong white square control. Alan fought tenaciously as always, but had to shed a pawn after which B mopped up efficiently.

4.  Allan appeared to equalise, but lacked a concrete plan, and although it looked fairly equal W slowly improved his position, and once his knight got to d6 he controlled the position. Allan was a bit unlucky the tactics didn’t quite work out for him near the end.


So we ended as we began with a 0 – 4 whitewash, but my thanks to the team for their efforts against formidable opposition, it is not easy being knocked down then picking oneself up to be knocked down again the following day, and for their excellent team spirit. We finished in 37th place, one below our seeding, with 0 match wins, 2 match draws, and 7 match losses, or 2 game wins, 7 game draws and 27 game losses.

Thanks also to Susan Owens for sending a text every evening so we would know before anyone else our next day pairing, and for posting my reports very promptly, hope the reader found them of benefit.


We are now off to the closing ceremony and the crowning of the surprise Open champions, Germany, and the Ladies champions Russia.





Round 8 - All Results Round 8    


ETC Round 8 report by Stuart Hutchings, captain 


Right to left in Round 8, Howard Williams, Iolo Jones, Tim Kett, and Allan Pleasants.


Bo. 34
Turkey  tn tur
Rtg - 36
Wales  tn wls
18.1 IM Yilmaz Mustafa 2515 0.5-0.5 FM Williams A Howard 2353
18.2 GM Can Emre 2465 1-0 CM Jones Iolo C 2282
18.3 IM Firat Burak 2393 1-0 Kett Tim 2184
18.4 CM Sanal Vahap 2275 1-0 Pleasants Allan J 2089
3.5 - 0.5


Today’s match was against 34th seeded Turkey, which was almost certainly the oldest average aged team versus the youngest average aged, their ages in board order being 19, 21, 19 and 13 (with their rested player also being 13!). Also, very impressively, they all wore grey suits, white shirts and an optional grey tie, perhaps something the Welsh team should adopt (!).

Comments on the games in the order in which they finished are:

1.  Allan had an active position but missed a couple of opportunities to maintain an edge or later to hold the balance (Qc4 instead of Rxe8) and the youngster proved quite capable of winning the R + N ending.

2.   Although Iolo had a solid position once again it was rather passive, and at this level conceding space and key squares has serious consequences. B slowly worked his way forward and Iolo was already lost when he allowed a snap finish.

3.   Tim got a very complex position which was completely blocked on the queenside and hinged on the success or not of white’s f4. When it came black temporarily held the pawn and once white got it back he (white) was only slightly better. Tim then erred seriously when playing Qxa4, allowing white to neatly break through on the ‘a’ file.

4.   So once again 3 reasonable positions but alas, nothing to show for them and it was left to Howard to avoid the whitewash. Once again he played a very steady game, and having got through a slightly tricky period after Bf5, the game petered out into an equal Q + R ending. W declined a draw, probably only because of the rating difference, and then continued playing a dead drawn queen ending before conceding the draw to save starting a second scoresheet at move 61. Another excellent display by Howard.


So with one round to go Wales will almost certainly finish 37th, one lower than their seed. At the top end one of Armenia, Germany (the big surprise) and Azerbaijan will be crowned champions at this evening’s closing ceremony.





Round 7 ~ All Results Round 7    


ETC Round 7 report by Stuart Hutchings, captain




    Left to right in Round 7, Howard Williams, Iolo Jones, Tim Kett, and Alan Young.


Bo. 36
  Wales  tn wls
Rtg - 37
  Luxembourg  tn lux
19.1 FM Williams A Howard 2353 1-0 IM Berend Fred 2381
19.2 CM Jones Iolo C 2282 0.5-0.5 Jeitz Christian 2171
19.3 Kett Tim 2184 0.5-0.5 Schartz Alain 2160
19.4 Young Alan 2042 0-1 FM Mossong Hubert 2119


Today’s match was against Luxembourg, the team seeded immediately below so it was an opportunity to notch up our first match win. Surprisingly we got out third white on odds in a row, our obscure colour sequence has certainly made selection trickier.


Other than board 4 we again started well, but were again well behind on most clocks, a telling factor in a number of games throughout the tournament. Further comments in the order in which the games finished:


1.  Alan unfortunately just had a bad day at the office. An inferior position early on with no counterplay, and his opponent was able to pick off 3 pawns to reach an easily winning R + B ending.

2.  Tim had got little from the opening, but endeavoured to get some imbalance into the position with kings castled in opposite sides. A ‘b5’ break rather than ‘d5’ may have been a better chance but his opponent kept his position together with some enterprising play and the game fizzled out to a draw.

3.  Boards 1 and 2 went past the first time control, during which Iolo had been holding his own with his favourite Petroff in a dynamically balanced position. The position had got a bit tense just prior to the time control with both players short of time, but the game petered out to dead equality soon afterwards.

4.  Howard played a good opening and was nicely placed, but I became concerned there might be a case of déjà vu when, as with the previous day, he started to overpress and in this case lost a pawn. But his opponent’s play became less accurate, carelessly losing back the pawn, then catastrophically exchanging queens, after which Howard mopped up very efficiently in a rook and pawn ending, for another deserved win.


So again a rather topsy turvy match, with us perhaps heading for a 2.5 – 1.5 victory, then a 1 – 3 loss, then a 1.5 – 2.5 loss, only for the match to end in a 2 – 2 draw.

So we have drawn with the 2 teams seeded below us, and lost to those seeded above us. Anything else from the last 2 rounds now will be a bonus, but with nothing to lose perhaps we can spring a surprise or 2 and end on a high note.





Round 6 ~ All Results Round 6          


ETC Round 6 report by Stuart Hutchings, captain 


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Left to right in Round 6, Howard Williams,

 Iolo Jones, Tim Kett, and Allan Pleasants


Captain Stuart Hutchings hoping for a

 favourable result against our friendly rivals


Bo. 36
  Wales  tn wls
Rtg - 35
  Scotland  tn sco
19.1 FM Williams A Howard 2353 0-1 FM Morrison Graham 2339
19.2 CM Jones Iolo C 2282 0-1 IM Muir Andrew J 2311
19.3 Kett Tim 2184 0.5-0.5 CM Roberts Paul 2222
19.4 Pleasants Allan J 2089 0-1 Mitchell Martin 2215


Gashimov , whose illness at the board I mentioned yesterday, was fully recovered today and took part in what might turn out to be a significant match with his team Azerbaijan winning 2.5 – 1.5 against Russia. Azerbaijan are now in pole position, it’s possibly there’s to lose with 3 rounds to go.

In our match the Scots surprised us by leaving out their number 1, Alan Tate, and even though they still outrated us on the bottom 3 boards, it was a confidence booster for us and I was hopeful of getting a result (there again I always am the optimist !).

Again the match started promisingly with the 2 whites having an edge, Allan soundly placed, ditto Iolo albeit a bit passive again. Further comments in the order in which the games finished:


1.  There was a flurry of activity in Tim’s early middle game, Black did well to hold it together and only emerge a pawn down in a rather drawish rook plus opposite bishop ending. Tim tried to make something of this, and could have continued for longer had he not erred on the last move of the time control and allowed the rooks to be exchanged for a dead draw.

2.  Howard had a nice edge throughout but was running short of time, and without White missing anything significant Black gradually reached an equal position. Howard tried to make more of the position than it now demanded, and unfortunately he allowed a pawn fork (missing that it could not be taken en passant) winning a piece and forcing immediate resignation.

3.  So, once again, from 2 promising we had scored less than 50%. Allan was holding his own against his opponent’s solid play, and may have even had slightly the better of it at one stage, but in a queen and knight ending, he also allowed a simple fork, this time after a temporary queen sacrifice, which forced immediate resignation.

4.  Iolo had been positionally outplayed, but was showing his usual tenacity when his opponent unnecessarily played a dubious combination allowing Iolo to counter sacrifice and free his position. In time trouble Iolo found a nice tactic (Bd5!), and if he had followed up with Qd1+ instead of Qc2, may have saved the game. As it went his opponent was able to escape any further counterplay and take the point.


So another disappointing end to a match which promised more, against 1 of the 3 teams who on paper we had genuine chances (Cyprus and Luxembourg the other 2). For those here who hadn’t experienced this event before it’s been very tough and a real eye opener, but the team is still in good spirits and hoping to make amends over the final 3 rounds.





Round 5 ~ All Results Round 5     


ETC Round 5 report by Stuart Hutchings, captain


Left to right in Round 5, Howard Williams, Iolo Jones, Tim Kett, and Alan Young.


Bo. 36
  Wales  tn wls


  Cyprus  cyprus-flag
19.1 FM Williams A Howard 2353 1-0 Aristotelous Vassilis 1921
19.2 CM Jones Iolo C 2282 0-1 Boulos Vrachimis 0
19.3 Kett Tim 2184 0.5-0.5 Constantinou Pavlos 2068
19.4 Young Alan 2042 0.5-0.5 FM Klerides Paris 2162

Before I discuss Wales’ match, an unfortunate incident happened in the top match where the Azerbaijan board 2, and World top 10 player, Vugar Gashimov fell ill at the board, and the match with France was abandoned as 4 draws. I’ve not had an update, hope everything is OK with him.


At last we play a team in the bottom third, in fact 38th and bottom seeded Cyprus. We expected a tough match and hopeful that we could get a result, but I certainly didn’t anticipate the rollercoaster it turned out to be.


The match started promisingly with Wales having an edge on the top 3 boards, with Alan a bit worse.
The story continues in the order in which the games finished:


1.  Iolo had a better position and his opponent was also down to his last few minutes (plus 30 second increment every move) before move 20. But inexplicably Iolo started spending an unnecessary amount of time over his moves, and even worse was to come when he just had a total aberration and lost on time on move 25. He was devastated and unable to explain how he didn’t realise his clock was down to seconds other than to say he was keeping an eye on his opponent’s clock in case he lost on time. It might also be explained that the amount of time on the clocks at other boards is different according to how many moves have been made, and thus how many 30 increments have been added.

2.  Soon afterwards Howard notched our first win with a very accomplished performance, he’s playing some good chess.

3.  Tim followed shortly, when, after he had been pressing throughout and hopeful of a victory, he had to concede a perpetual check. So from 3 promising positions we had unfortunately only notched 1.5 points.

4.  In the meantime Alan had fought back well, but his opponent was the one who had the chances. Bearing in mind Alan’s heartbreaking loss yesterday, today he was unlucky to be paired with the best Cypriot player, an FM and the highest rated player (who knows why he was registered as their number 5!) who had not played in the first 4 rounds (!).


Back at the game, they both just made the move 40 time control in a dynamically balanced queen plus 2 rooks position. White gradually improved his position but was using up a lot of time (rest of moves in 30 minutes plus a 30 second increment each move). They were down to a couple of minutes each (plus increment), a pair of rooks had been exchanged and White was by now clearly winning, but Alan hung on in there and made life as difficult as possible. So much so that he created his own passed pawn (as Black) on g2 threatening to queen with check, and white was forced to take a perpetual check.

After the trauma of yesterday, Alan held his nerve well and deserved his bit of luck (along with accurate and determined play), to allow us to notch our first match point.

We are still in last place (tied with 2 others on 1 match point, but the worst on game points), it can only be onwards and upwards from here.





Round 4 ~ All Results Round 4        


ETC Round 4 report by Stuart Hutchings, captain


Bo. 26
  Switzerland  tn sui
Rtg - 36
  Wales  tn wls
18.1 GM Pelletier Yannick 2581 1-0 FM Williams A Howard 2353
18.2 GM Korchnoi Viktor 2567 1-0 Kett Tim 2184
18.3 GM Gallagher Joseph G 2500 1-0 Pleasants Allan J 2089
18.4 IM Kurmann Oliver 2451 1-0 Young Alan 2042



Right to left in Round 4, Howard Williams, Tim Kett, Allan Pleasants and Alan Young.


Another tough draw against 26th seeded Switzerland, so after 4 rounds we have not yet been paired with anyone in the bottom third (!), and to make matters worse we had our third black on odds match, which has messed up colour allocation and team selection. But no one ever said international chess is easy (!).

A very disappointing result, a match which promised much during its course, but in the end offered up nothing. Comments on the games in the order in which they finished are: 

1.  Poor Howard, his third black in as many games (I’d blame the captain, myself!) but he was very magnanimous about his ‘board one responsibilities’. He again emerged from the opening with a reasonable position, one which he would probably win against most Welsh players, but at this level black needs to be extremely accurate to be able to just hold his own, and this did not prove possible.

2.  The other 3 games all ended in rapid succession near the first time control. First was Allan who had a very solid Czech Benoni pawn structure which held together for some while, but in the end his opponent was able to open the position up on both flanks resulting in complete central control and a win.

3.  Alan went wrong in the opening and had to shed an exchange, but then his opponent also immediately went wrong, and suddenly Alan had significant play. Black thought for ages about how to get his king to safety, and offered a draw, which Alan correctly, but bravely considering our previous 0.5/12 game points, declined. He played well to reach a winning position, but alas incorrectly thought he was mating his opponent when he could simply have won a piece with an overwhelming position. Very sad.

4.  Tim was latest in line to try and beat the great Victor Korchnoi, previously myself, John Cooper and Richard Jones had all failed to do so. I apologise for reminiscing again but before the game Viktor starting speaking to Howard and myself about the Nice Olympiad 1974 when I had played him and Howard had played Karpov. “I haven’t got a bad memory, have I, for something from 50 years ago”. Actually 37 years, but we weren’t going to quibble, a great character, now 80 years old and still playing excellent chess.

In the game, Tim very enterprisingly sacrificed a piece for 3 pawns and play, and possibilities of at least a perpetual. Tim ran short of time and Korchnoi took great risks taking on b2, then moving his king to a5, but he is renowned for his defensive abilities and so it proved. Black was able to force the queens off, then it was just a matter of time. The game ended amusingly when Tim, having just passed the time control, took a breather and leaned across to see what had just transpired on Alan’s board, when Victor said something to the effect “it is your move you know !”, he obviously thought it was over and wanted to go, so Tim duly resigned. They had a brief chat and Korchnoi thought there might have been better for Tim at one stage, perhaps even winning, but it was not so clear.


So a great effort by the team, but unfortunately nothing to show for it. Hopefully we can make amends tomorrow.





Round 3 ~ All Results Round 3  


ETC Round 3 report by Stuart Hutchings, captain


Sorry for the delay in the report, circumstances beyond my control, I’m sure everyone will fully understand.

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Left to right in round 3, Iolo Jones, Tim Kett,

 Allan Pleasants and Alan Young


Our arbiter for the day, Maria, making life

 that bit more pleasant


First of all happy 80th birthday wishes to Beryl Hughes from myself and the team, hope you had a nice day.


Bo. 36
Wales  tn wls
Rtg - 23
Austria  tn aut
17.1 CM Jones Iolo C 2282 0-1 GM Ragger Markus 2662
17.2 Kett Tim 2184 0-1 GM Kindermann Stefan 2519
17.3 Pleasants Allan J 2089 0-1 GM Shengelia David 2551
17.4 Young Alan 2042 0-1 IM Kreisl Robert 2415


Unfortunately not so us against 23rd seeded Austria, the only one of 6 teams with 0 match points not seeded below 30 (!). Howard was not feeling 100% so was rested, something I was considering anyway, and would have certainly done if our colour sequence had been kinder. As it is Howard has had 2 blacks and would get a 3rd in round 4 tomorrow if they don’t equalise it out for us, but was prepared to accept that consequence and make sure he is fighting fit after today. 

All of today’s games seemed to start badly, get better, but then worse again, comments from them in the order in which they finished are:

1.  Alan got caught in a line of the Hedgehog he didn’t know well, and his limited space cost him the exchange. He managed to engineer some threats along the long diagonal to W’s king, but not enough. 

2.  Allan was surprised by not having seen his opponent’s move 2 before (!), but played very enterprisingly and a somewhat unclear position arose. His best bet would have been to reach a Queen plus one rook ending, as it went the rook ending was straightforward for his opponent.  

3.  Tim unnecessarily conceded the centre (exd4) but fought back well and after h5 (to stop Nh6 mate!) Tim should have played Nf4 (instead of Qg5) with equal chances. After Qg5 W had the position under control and finished neatly.  

4.  At 2662, this was the highest rated person Iolo had ever played, even higher than the world class Hungarian GM Lajos Portisch with whom Iolo drew in 1974. I apologise for keep harping back but Austria’s captain was the Hungarian GM Zoltan Ribli, and we chatted afterwards about the Wales – Hungary matches of 1974 and 1976.

Iolo played a solid opening, perhaps too solidly as GMs are quite happy to play risk free positions with a bit of extra space and lots of pieces on, but Iolo showed his usual tenacity. He could have made it a bit harder if he had played a later Nxd6 (bishop), but it is always a big uphill task to hold this type of position against a GM. 



Stuart Hutchings, captain, as always in good spirits despite the setbacks


Iolo (watched over by Stuart) and Tim are 2 of the last games to finish





Round 2 ~ All Round 2 Results        


ETC Round 2 report by Stuart Hutchings, captain



 Right to left in Round 2, Howard Williams, Tim Kett, Allan Pleasants and Alan Young.

The arbiter made the comment about the good colour coordination of boards 2 and 3 (!).


Bo. 22
  Italy  Flag-Italy
Rtg Result 36
  Wales  tn wls
15.1 GM Caruana Fabiano 2727 1-0 FM Williams A Howard 2353
15.2 IM Dvirnyy Daniyyl 2475 0.5-0.5 Kett Tim 2184
15.3 GM Brunello Sabino 2575 1-0 Pleasants Allan J 2089
15.4 IM Rombaldoni Axel 2459 1-0 Young Alan 2042


Today we played 22nd seeded Italy, who only lost 1.5 – 2.5 in round 1 to the 3rd seeds Azerbaijan. Without wishing to overdo the Skopje 1972 reference from yesterday, Italy were our first ever Olympiad opponents. Comments from today’s games in the order in which they finished are:

1.  After playing a 2650 yesterday, you might have thought Howard’s life might have got a bit easier today but none of it. In fact today’s opponent at 2727 was the highest rated he had ever played, even more than Karpov in 1974, who was then on the verge of winning the World title, at ‘only’ 2700 (! – that’s inflation for you). Howard played a good opening and equalised, and was holding his own for some while but his pieces became slightly loose, and his subsequent exchange sacrifice was not sufficient against accurate defence. But another fine effort.

2.  Tim’s position became rather blocked and B tried to break out with Nf4+ and may have been able to follow up with Ng4 immediately afterwards. Having missed this possibility, W consolidated and may have been better when the draw was agreed, but at least we were on the scoreboard, well played.

3.  Allan sacrificed a piece for 2 pawns and play, resulting in a very complicated middlegame. Allan turned this into good chances, but in time trouble lost the thread a bit before blundering.

4.  Alan’s opponent had recently started the World Junior with 6/6, faded a bit, but still finished near the top after 13 rounds. Alan had sacrificial opportunities early on, but decided not to risk these and instead play a steady position, and was more or less OK before he too lost the thread a bit when running short of time.

Another spirited performance, we need to translate this into match points when we play the 2 teams seeded below us and hopefully others.



                                                  Game analysis





Round 1 All Round 1 results 


ETC Round 1 report by Stuart Hutchings, captain



Right to left in Round 1, Howard Williams, Iolo Jones, Allan Pleasants and Alan Young


Yes would you believe it, Howard appearing for Wales in a team tournament for the first time since 1986 (!). And what’s even more frightening, is that Howard, myself and Iolo (plus David James and 2 others) all played in Wales first ever team tournament, the Skopje Olympiad, 40 years ago next year (!). Moving on swiftly to the today’s match .....


Bo. 17
Romania  tn rou
Rtg 36
Wales  tn wls
17.1 GM Parligras Mircea-Emilian 2650 1-0 FM Williams A Howard 2353
17.2 GM Vajda Levente 2584 1-0 CM Jones Iolo C 2282
17.3 GM Marin Mihail 2534 1-0 Pleasants Allan J 2089
17.4 GM Szabo Gergely-Andras-Gyula 2553 1-0 Young Alan 2042


Seeded 36th out of 38 always meant that the 1st round was always going to be tough (challenging!) for us and so it turned out, playing 17th seeded Romania, whose squad contained 5 GMs averaging 2611 (!).


1.  Alan was first to finish after some 3 hours, initially being caught in Sicilian Najdorf theory, but still able to force his opponent to make some difficult decisions over which both sides took a long time. In the end B’s better placed and co-ordinated pieces broke through W’s position.

 2.  Next was Allan, whose opponent, with a reputation as a good theoretical and technical player, played a quiet opening and emerged with a slight edge. W then showed his ability, slowly improving his position to first win a pawn, then more material.

 3.  Then came Howard putting in a fine effort, catching his opponent with a couple of powerful moves, but in the end nothing concrete was missed and W was able to hang on and start accumulating extra pawns. W complimented Howard by saying he had certainly been tested, and had helped him get in the groove for the rest of the tournament.

 4.  And lastly Iolo, who played a solid opening, but was slowly but surely pushed back by his strong opponent. B eventually won by converting his advantage into an easily winning ending.

 So a whitewash to start with, but a fighting performance all round which augurs well for the tournament.











Iolo and Howard ready to do battle


 Game analysis





Captains Meeting






 Good luck to Wales who are seeded 36th out of 38 teams in the Open section. The captain is Stuart Hutchings.      


36.          Wales (RtgAvg:2225)
Bo. Name Rtg FED Games
1 FM Williams A Howard 2353 WLS 0.0
2 CM Jones Iolo C 2282 WLS 0.0
3 Kett Tim 2184 WLS 0.0
4 Young Alan 2042 WLS 0.0
5 Pleasants Allan J 2079 WLS 0.0


The tournament will have 9 rounds Swiss system. The time control will be 90 min for 40 moves + 30 min for the rest of the game + 30 sec increment for every move played starting from the first move.




2 November: Arrival of Delegations
2 November: Captain’s Meeting – 22:00
3 November: Opening Ceremony – 14:30
3 November: Round 1 – 15:00
4 November: Round 2 – 15:00
5 November: Round 3 – 15:00
6 November: Round 4 – 15:00
7 November: Round 5 – 15:00
8 November: Round 6 – 15:00
9 November: Round 7 – 15:00
10 November: Round 8 – 15:00
11 November: Round 9 – 13:00
11 November: Closing Ceremony – 21:00
12 November: Departure of delegations


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Playing Hall